Toll Roads - 20th Century
Two roads on the Isle of Wight remained in private ownership in the 20th century and were subject to vehicle tolls for many years.
The Embankment Road between St Helens and Bembridge was built atop the embankment which allowed Brading Haven to be drained and which protected the railway line running on the landward side. The road was originally owned by the railway company and a toll for vehicles was collected at the Bembridge end. The Isle of Wight County Council purchased the road from British Rail in 1971 and took responsibility for its maintenance and abolished the tolls.
The Seaview Duver road, between Oakhill Road and the Salterns, was originally built as the driveway to Seafield House and also allowed the land behind it to be drained. It later became a toll road operated by the Seaview Duver Toll Road Company with the tolls collected at the Oakfield Road end. In the late 20th century, governmental funding was sought for coastal protection along the length of the road, one condition of the funding was that the road should be open to all users free of charge. So in 1997 the Isle of Wight Council took over management and abolished the toll. Once the funding had been secured, in 2003 the IW Council took over ownership of the road and seawall for a nominal £1. An unusual feature of the road is that it is classed as a long stay car park with signs at both ends!